Agency violates Clean Water Act for construction sites

News North American Concrete Alliance July 27, 2006
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The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California stated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to establish stormwater pollution standards for construction and development sites. This failure violates the Clean Water Act (Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. EPA, C.D. Cal., No. CV-04-8307-GHK (RCx), 6/28/06).

The genesis of this ruling stems from EPA not promulgating national effluent limitation guidelines and new source performance standards for construction site stormwater runoff. The lack of EPA responsiveness precipitated the lawsuit brought by the Natural resources Defense Council (NRDC) and others. The Court held that the Clean Water Act requires EPA to set standards for all identified point sources of toxic and nonconventional pollutants.

Polluted runoff from parking lots, highways and rooftops is the fastest growing source of ground and surface water contamination in the nation, according to a 2002 report by the Pew Environmental Trust's Ocean Commission.

NRDC and Waterkeeper stated that EPA's failure to control urban stormwater pollution is "despoiling the environment and threatening public health."

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